TELESAR V Avatar Transfers Touch, Vibration and Temperature

TELESAR V Avatar Transfers Touch, Vibration and Temperature

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We’ve come a long way from the first TELESTAR systems and now The Japanese Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Keio University’s Tachi Lab have presented their newest telexistence system, the TELESAR V, at SIGGRAPH 2012 Emerging Technologies.

They have improved the tactile sensation relay so much that a human operator can now distinguish if the robot is handling cloth or paper. Just by touch. The head-mounted display provides a high-definition wide-angle view from the robot’s perspective, along with stereo sound. The robot avatar’s body has 54 degrees of freedom, which allow it to accurately mimic the operator’s movements using a motion-capture system. It’s amazing how far this has all come in a short time.

The TELESAR V’s hands and fingers have sensors that capture and relay tactile information to the operator who is wearing special gloves. The main sensor in each fingertip is a vision-based force sensor which is comprised of a wide-angle camera that looks through a gel-layer mixed with thermochromic ink. When the gel compresses, the thermochromic ink becomes denser, which the camera interprets as force information. The fingertips also have microphones that pick up vibrations.

[Plastic Pals]